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First Team News

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Nasri and KDB return but five ruled out

City will welcome Kevin De Bruyne and Samir Nasri back into the fold for Saturday’s trip to the Vitality Stadium.

However, Fabian Delph, Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Raheem Sterling and Yaya Toure have all been ruled out of this first game after the international break.

Manuel Pellegrini also confirmed that Joe Hart and Yaya Toure are doubts for the upcoming UEFA Champions League clash against PSG in his pre-Bournemouth press briefing.

“Sterling has a muscle injury and will be out for four or five weeks, while Toure has a problem with his heel,” Pellegrini stated.

“I’m not 100% sure but I think it will be difficult for Joe or Yaya to play against PSG.

“In this moment, Kevin and Samir are on the squad list - maybe they won’t play 90 minutes but they are ready.

“Kevin worked the whole week with no problem - of course it was a long time he couldn’t play. Same with Samir Nasri - I hope both of them will be important for the remainder of the season.

“At the end of the season when you have so many players playing so many games it’s important to have fresh players coming in.”

City go into this weekend’s fixtures 15 points behind Leicester at the table summit and one point ahead of West Ham in fifth with just eight games to go.

The Blues boss refused to accept that his team are solely in a battle for fourth place, declaring that he won’t give up on any of the team's goals until they're mathematically impossible.

“We’re disappointed because one month ago we were involved in all the competitions, just three points behind the leaders,” he told journalists.

“We have to play another eight games - it’s not in this moment a bad season, we won a title, we’re still in the Champions League.

“We were forced to leave the FA Cup because we had so many games and unfortunately we had a bad performance in the last game. It’s not the time to analyse the season.

“It’s not just United and West Ham. Liverpool have two games less. Southampton… when you have 24/27 points to play for, I think that a lot of things can happen. All the teams are involved and have a mathematical chance and that’s also the case with teams in front of us.

"It's my mentality - we take each game as it comes and try to finish as high up the table as we can.”

Finally, Pellegrini admitted that he has been impressed with Bournemouth’s form under Eddie Howe in recent weeks.

The Cherries have won three of their last four games.

Pellegrini added: “Bournemouth have made a good season. From the beginning they were a team that played very well. Maybe in the first few games there were doubts about the way they should play but since they’ve returned to the way they played to get promoted.”

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